Missouri health officials monitoring lung disease tied to vaping

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is asking healthcare providers to watch for e-cigarette uses with a potential lung disease tied to vaping. It comes after recent CDC reports of nearly 200 illnesses and one death.

On Friday, the state of Illinois reported the death of a patient who suffered a serious lung illness after vaping. It's the first in the country tied to e-cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control reports 193 potential cases of severe lung illness connected to vaping in 22 states from late June until August 20. The CDC is helping states investigate those cases. While they appear to be linked to vaping, health experts are still looking for more information on what is causing the illnesses.

The CDC reports patients had a cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue worsening over days or weeks before being admitted to the hospital. Many patients says they recently used products with THC, but no specific product is yet linked to the illnesses.

The owner of The Vape Escape in Springfield believes the problems are likely stemming from people abusing products.

"People are not taking the time to read the instructions on the product," said Rob Mayhew, manager of The Vape Escape. "They're not taking the time to follow the instructions on how, if you was to mix your own juice, they're not taking the time to read the instructions."

Mayhew says he has not had any customers report any of the symptoms being seen across the country. In Missouri, health leaders report no recent severe lung disease complaints tied to vaping, but the Missouri Poison Control Center reports 30 cases with reported breathing difficulties over the last five years.